Tag Archives: author

It’s Time.

11 Oct

My don’t-touch-that-manuscript-lest-it-burn-you break is over.  It’s finally cool enough to handle.

This afternoon, at precisely 3:30pm, I will pick it up again.

There will be coffee, comfy sweatshirts and pants, note-taking devices of all sorts.  Fresh eyes.  Peace and quiet.

I will read.  Think.  Focus.  Evaluate.

Today, I am buzzing with quiet anticipation.  To finish a draft feels exhilarating, but to start the process of making it even better?  Well, that’s both exciting and scary.  Mostly exciting.

Deep breath.

It’s time.

FINISHED.

3 Sep

YAY. Draft three = FINISHED.

Well, relatively.

Who knows how finished finished actually is, you know?  But I do know one thing: the third draft is done.  Finally.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

(Ahem.)

It was a major stretch to try to finish this week, and I am feeling it, physically.  My neck is tight.  My head aches.  Since I’m sore from so many hours of staring at my laptop this past week¹, I’m postponing the rest of my Comparison Series until I get back from vacation.  I hate to do that, because I am kind of huge on sticking to my word.  It’s for everyone’s own good, though.  You know you’d rather have a quality post than one that reads:

Blurgh.

Right?  Because that’s about all I have in me at the moment.  And writing the last two posts of the series will be the perfect way to transition back from vacation.

The vacation which, at the moment, I feel is completely deserved.  Sigh. (No, really.  I actually did just sigh.)

See you guys in a week, or a little more.  Maybe before, if the ocean happens to conjure up an internet connection.

Until then: peace, sunshine, cool breezes, and happy writing.

¹And possibly because I have mountains of dishes and laundry to finish before tomorrow.  Side note: I stared at the mess last night.  It was, quite possibly, the only time I will EVER look at such a disaster and think, Wow. This tornado zone is not due to laziness but, rather, is a direct result of super-awesome diligent productivity!!!  I should totally take a picture!

Who, What, When, Where, Why

26 May

Well, today should be interesting.

I’m breaking from my usual routine of get-up-drink-latte-write-blog-write-workout-and-so-on and am merely drinking black coffee from a French press, preparing to go do something I’ve never done before.

A friend who is a first grade teacher invited me to come speak to her class for Author Day, and I’m this mix of nerves-meet-excitement about it.  When she invited me to speak, I warned her that I’m not technically an author, yet — that while I’ve made significant progress on my novel, I still have a long road to travel before that word applies to me.

Eh, she didn’t care.  “They’ll love you,” she told me, “They’ll be excited just to meet someone who’s writing a novel, published or not.”  Alrighty, then.  Speak I shall.

I’m going to do my best not to bore the little darlings with my (exciting-to-only-me) array of colored pens, my myriad notebooks, my stacks upon stacks of post-it notes, and the minutiae of what goes into a novel.  Most of that will stay hidden away in my tote bag.  Instead, I’m going to focus on the basics: what is a story, and how do you write it?  Can you do it as a first grader?  Does a book have to be a certain length? (Cue my dear visual aids of A Wrinkle in Time versus Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix.)  Where can you get ideas? (EVERYWHERE.)

After some attempts at engaging them, I’ll bust out my (totally geeky awesome) notebooks that represent the process — I have one with pictures of my villains and loads of brainstorming, a tattered first draft, a three-ring bindered second draft, and an example of some pages that are bleeding orange, purple, pink, red, and a couple of neon highlighting swipes to boot.

Before all of this, however, I need to tame my mane of hair so I don’t scare them away when I walk in the door.  Seriously.  I’m not exactly sure what a banshee looks like, but it’s the word that keeps coming to mind when I think of how my hair looks this morning.

Deep breath.  It’s only a twenty-minute guest visit.  Twenty minutes.  Not hard, right?

Right.

It’s too late for me to fish for ideas, but out of curiosity — what would you guys say to a group of first graders about being an (aspiring) author?

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Sincerity, In Life and In Writing

8 Sep

Sincerity.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  It’s an undercurrent to my actions, a silent stream in my mind that suggests words when I have conversations.  It’s the little green leaves that grow up through cracked sidewalk cement, the stuff that reminds you that life can be cold and hard and rigid, but beauty does, indeed, exist.

It’s what makes your friends your friends, and not just projects who serve to better you in some capacity.  It’s what you are when you accept yourself, flaws and all, and remove yourself from the game of I’m perfect, a game where you are always the king nearing the wrong end of a checkmate situation, trying to wield your power, avoiding the reality of weakness, and finding yourself roaming in circles.

It’s saying what you mean, not just what you think you should say.  It’s hearing what others say, really listening.  

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in my life, lately.  I see too many people accidentally fall into the trap of acting like they think they should, rather than being the people they are.  They give answers they think people expect, get jobs they perceive others perceive as acceptable, make decisions based on general consensus rather than actual conviction.  I know this, unfortunately, from firsthand experience.  

The past few years have been some of the best of my life, because I’m finally growing into the freedom of being myself.  I’m finding this freedom is important, especially when it comes to being a writer.  People-pleasing and fitting a cookie-cutter mold is inherently opposed to life as a writer, I think.  By nature, writing is time spent on something that doesn’t (at first, if ever) yield monetary fruit.  Writing requires perspective, which requires actual thought.  Plus, you have to be at that point where you understand, ‘I have opinions.  So does everyone else.  Therefore, it stands to reason that not everybody sees how I see.’  Furthermore, you have to add to that little mantra ‘…and that’s okay.’  

It’s so much more fun to be real than it is to be fake.  More satisfying, too.  It’s not always easier, but it is less complicated.  Ironically, don’t you think it seems more people are ‘pleased’ when you live sincerely, rather than when you live as a people-pleasing?  

Stephen King writes, in On Writing:  “The key to good description begins with clear seeing and ends with clear writing…”  I think this is a good example of sincerity as it applies to writing.  You see clearly, you translate it clearly.  No muddling it up with what you think it should be, or what you think others want it to be.  Just write what it is.  And let what it is come straight from you, the sincere you.

Thanks for letting me think on this publicly with you guys.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on what it means to be sincere, whether in regards to your writing, your life, or both.